Frequently Asked Questions
Does NGC grade mint errors?
Yes. NGC will grade most circulation issue mint errors as well as most Proof mint errors struck prior to 1985. Mint errors struck after that date are evaluated for NGC grading on a case-by-case basis. NGC does not recognize as mint errors those coins with minor die chips, breaks, rotations, etc., which fall within our interpretation of mint tolerance. The determination of what constitutes a mint error is solely at the discretion of NGC.
What coins will not be graded by NGC?
NGC will not grade coins that are counterfeit, are of questionable authenticity or have been altered. In addition, NGC will not grade coins that have active surface contaminants such as PVC residue. These coins will often be eligible for NGC certification after conservation by Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), an independent affiliate of NGC.
What is the difference between “Questionable Authenticity” and “Authenticity Unverifiable?”
If NGC graders examine a coin and believe that it will not be possible to determine whether it is authentic or not, it will be called “Questionable Authenticity” and the grading fee will be refunded, less a $5 processing charge.
If NGC graders examine a coin and believe that additional research is required to determine its authenticity, they will conduct a comprehensive review, which will include extensive research and/or consultations with outside experts. If NGC is still unable to determine whether the coin is authentic or not after this additional research and consultation, the coin will be called “Authenticity Unverifiable.” The regular grading fee will still apply.
What is “Not Suitable for Certification?”
On occasion, NGC will return a coin as NOT SUITABLE FOR CERTIFICATION. This is used for coins that are severely damaged or otherwise impaired. The surface condition of these coins makes it impossible for NGC to render a conclusive opinion about authenticity, NGC Details grade or both. When a coin is determined to be NOT SUITABLE, NGC will refund the grading fee, less a $5 processing charge.
What are “Early Releases” and “First Releases”?
NGC offers the “Early Releases” and “First Releases” designations for selected coins received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository during the first 30 days of release. The term “EARLY RELEASES” or “FIRST RELEASES” will be noted as part of the coin’s description on the NGC certification label. For a list of eligible coins and cutoff dates, click here.
Early Releases and First Releases coins are listed separately in the NGC Census. They are also eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. In certain markets NGC will offer bilingual Early Releases and First Releases labels. The same definitions, cutoff dates and NGC Registry treatment applies.
What is the difference between the NGC Plus () Designation and the NGC Star () Designation?
NGC assigns the Plus () Designation to coins at the high end of their assigned numeric grade. For example, a coin is graded NGC MS 64 if it approaches the quality of a coin graded NGC MS 65.
NGC assigns its trademarked Star () Designation to coins that have exceptional eye appeal for their assigned numeric grade.
What is an NGC Details grade?
NGC assigns an adjectival NGC Details grade to coins that have surface conditions that preclude numeric grading. These surface conditions include improper cleaning, scratches and damage. Learn more about NGC Details grading >
If a coin is removed from an NGC holder can I be assured that it will receive the same grade if resubmitted to NGC?
No. Once a coin is removed from an NGC holder the NGC Guarantee no longer applies. This is because NGC cannot account for where that coin has been, what if anything has been done to it, and for the overall subjective nature of coin grading itself.
What is a pedigree?
A pedigree describes the current and/or past ownership of a coin. It notates the collector or collectors who have previously owned a particular coin. For example, a coin from the Eric P. Newman Collection may be pedigreed “Eric P. Newman” or “Newman” on the NGC certification label. NGC will pedigree coins to significant collectors or collections if sufficient documentation is provided.
Pedigrees can also be used to describe hoards. A submitter may request that their own name or the name of a collection be listed as the pedigree on the NGC certification label, subject to NGC’s approval.
What does it mean when an NGC-certified silver eagle says “Struck at West Point Mint” or “Struck at San Francisco Mint?”
In mid-2011 the United States Mint announced that it would strike American Silver Eagle bullion coins at the San Francisco Mint to supplement its production at the West Point Mint. Although these coins do not have mintmarks, many collectors desire examples from both mints. The West Point and San Francisco Silver Eagles can be distinguished by the U.S. Mint’s identifying labels when they are shipped from their facilities in green “monster boxes” of 500. If a U.S. Mint-sealed monster box with the proper identifying label is submitted to NGC, the submitter can request that these coins be labeled with a “Struck at West Point Mint” or “Struck at San Francisco Mint” pedigree, whichever applicable. The coins will also be labeled with the mintmark in parentheses to indicate that they were struck at that mint without a mintmark.
To learn more, read NGC’s article from June 2011: NGC to Certify San Francisco Mint Silver Eagles.
What do I do if I think my NGC-certified coin is overgraded?
NGC offers a free Appearance Review service in the event that someone believes that an NGC-certified coin is overgraded. Coins that are reviewed and downgraded by NGC are covered by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of grade and authenticity. To read the full NGC Guarantee, click here.
What do I do if I think my NGC-certified coin is undergraded?
If you believe your NGC-certified coin is undergraded, you may submit it to NGC under the “ReGrade” service tier. An applicable grading tier must also be selected.
Submitting to NGC
Where is NGC located?
NGC is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is located within a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility. NGC also has submission offices in Munich, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; Hong Kong; Shanghai, China; Guangzhou, China; Seoul, Korea; Singapore and Tapei, Taiwan.
How do I contact NGC?
NGC can be contacted by mail, telephone, fax or email.
PO Box 4776
Sarasota, FL 34230
1 800-NGC-COIN (642-2646)
+1 941-360-2553 fax
How do I submit to NGC?
NGC Collector Society members may submit their coins directly to NGC. Join today!
As the official grading service of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), NGC allows ANA members to sign up for a free NGC submission account. For more information, click here.
Many NGC Authorized Dealers also accept submissions from the public. For a list of NGC Authorized Dealers, visit the NGC Dealer Locator.
What is the cost of NGC grading?
NGC’s grading fees are generally based on a coin’s fair market value and the submitter’s desired turnaround time. For a comprehensive list of all NGC grading tiers, service tiers, fees and requirements, click here.
Can I send multiple submissions to NGC in the same box?
Yes, you may send multiple submissions to NGC in the same box. You may not, however, send submissions to NGC and another independent affiliate (e.g. NCS or PMG) in the same box.
What measures are in place at NGC to ensure the safety of my coins?
NGC headquarters is a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility with two large vaults, a staff of armed guards and more than 150 security cameras. Submissions to NGC are opened under security cameras and each coin is immediately assigned a unique identification number that is used to track it throughout every stage of NGC’s grading process. All coins are fully insured while in NGC’s possession and are handled only by trained staff.
What is the NGC grading process?
When a submission is received by NGC it is opened by trained staff under security cameras. Each coin is entered into NGC’s proprietary system and assigned a unique identification numbered with a barcode that is used to track the coin throughout the NGC grading process. At this stage, the coins are separated from the submission paperwork so that the NGC graders never know the submitter’s identify, which ensures impartiality.
Coins are then transferred to the NGC grading room, where multiple professional graders carefully examine each coin. After grading, coins are encapsulated in NGC’s EdgeView® holder, the same holder that was extensively tested by the Smithsonian Institution and is currently used to protect more than 300 of that museum’s greatest rarities.
After encapsulation, coins are returned to the NGC grading room for a final inspection. Images are then taken of the encapsulated coin for NGC’s free online Verify NGC Certification tool, available at NGCcoin.com.
Finally, the coins are matched up to the original submission form and brought to NGC’s shipping department. Every coin is individually counted and checked against the submission paperwork to make certain that no mistakes occurred. Coins are then securely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box that contains dividers so that the NGC holders do not come into contact with each other. The NGC-certified coins are now ready to be sent back to the submitter.
For a more comprehensive look at the NGC grading process, click here.
Can I check the status of my submission online?
What is NCS conservation?
An independent affiliate of NGC, Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) was established in 2001 as the world’s first professional coin conservation service. NCS conservation removes harmful surface contaminants, stabilizes a coin for long-term preservation and can dramatically improve a coin’s eye appeal. After conservation by NCS, coins can be seamlessly transferred to NGC for grading.
NGC Collectors Society Membership
What are the benefits of the NGC Collectors Society and how to I join?
NGC Collectors Society members receive direct submission privileges to NGC and other Certified Collectibles Group companies. Certain membership levels also offer grading coupons and discounts. Click here to see all of the NGC Collectors Society benefits and join.
Can I submit to other Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) companies?
Yes. Your NGC Collectors Society membership entitles you to submit to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) and Classic Collectible Services (CCS).
Does the grading credit I receive with my NGC Collector Society membership expire?
Yes. This grading credit expires on the membership expiration date listed in your confirmation email.
Can I give my membership credit to a friend to use?
No. The membership credit is only valid for the member to which it was issued.
Is my membership refundable?
Because of the benefits received with your membership, a pro-rated refund is not available. However, if you have signed up for auto-renewal of your membership, and decide within 30 days of auto-renewal that you would like to cancel your membership, you may receive a refund of your membership dues by contacting NGC Customer Service at Service@NGCcoin.com or 1-800-NGC-COIN (642-2646).